The Best New Books of 2020 That I Can’t Wait to Read

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Wassup my book lovin’ sistas and brothas

You guys know how much I love talking about books and I had such a great time talking about books in my end of year round up. Putting together that mega list of the best books of 2019 gave me all the feels.

But thinking about my favourites also got me thinking about what’s coming up. A new year, and a new decade is upon us, which also means all-new reading material.

With writers like Helen Oyeyemi, Nicole Dennis-Benn and Bernadine Evaristo making literary waves in 2019, I have a distinct feeling that 2020 could shape up to be just as good for bookworms like myself.

Here are the books I’m most excited to read this year:

Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi – January 21st

Combining realism with dystopian with science-fiction, Riot Baby follows two gifted siblings through the history of the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. The book is a short yet powerful read. It’s a harsh and gut-wrenching look at the crime of being black in America.

 

More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys – March 31

So it’s been a minute since Mrs. Alicia Keys has come out with a book and I’m totally here for it. A few years back Alicia Keys stunned the world when she decided to go makeup free. Personally I think she’s beautiful either way and I love everything she does. Okay, enough gushing. Her new book is an intimate look into her life. Alicia Keys shares her private stories from her relationship with her father, romantic revelations, her career and the difficult expectations of ‘female perfection,’ she bares it all in this exploration of who she really is. She candidly recounts her story and shares how she rediscovered herself and found her truth. 

It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan – March 31

Terry McMillian stays writing stories that speak to the essence of black womanhood especially black womanhood after a certain age and I have no doubt that this story will also be a hit.

At 68, Loretha Curry refuses to look at aging as a negative thing the way the other women in her life do. Surrounded by a group of people she loves and happy with her personal success, she’s excited about her life. But then, out of nowhere, she loses someone close to her and she must do everything she can to keep her life together and stay strong. This is a story of the power of women and the inspiring lives they lead.

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré – February 4

This is the story of a Nigerian girl who knows an education is the only way that she—and all of the girls like her—can follow their dreams. Though she is sold into marriage and driven into servitude, she never gives up her fight to find her voice.

Making Our Way Home by Blair Imani – January 14

Between 1916 and 1970, some 6 million African Americans left the Jim Crow South and moved across America in search of a better life. Blair Imani illustrates the profound impact that the Great Migration had on Black identity and American culture in the 20th century.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall – February 25

While intersectional feminism is gaining traction in some circles, too many mainstream feminists—namely white feminists—are focused on increasing privilege for themselves rather than addressing systemic issues like food insecurity, a living wage, and access to healthcare. Mikki Kendall passionately argues for an overhaul of a movement that has left too many women behind.

That Hair by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida – March 17

That Hair is a family album of sorts that touches upon the universal subjects of racism, feminism, colonialism, immigration, identity and memory.

“The story of my curly hair,” says Mila, the narrator of Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s autobiographically inspired tragicomedy, “intersects with the story of at least two countries and, by extension, the indirect story of the relations among several continents: a geopolitics.” Mila is the Luanda-born daughter of a black Angolan mother and a white Portuguese father. She arrives in Lisbon at the tender age of three, and feels like an outsider from the jump.

Through the lens of young Mila’s indomitably curly hair, her story interweaves memories of childhood and adolescence, family lore spanning four generations, and present-day reflections on the internal and external tensions of a European and African identity. 

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – September 15

I am sooo excited about this book I can hardly contain myself. Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo – May 5

If Acevedo’s last two books were any indication of what’s coming then I cannot wait to read this one. In this latest book Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness , and the bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

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